North Haven, CT – A Hamden Police Department sergeant was charged with third-degree assault, after he traveled to nearby North Haven, while in uniform, and allegedly assaulted a man who threatened to murder his wife and her family, police said.
The incident was captured on bodycam video (below.)
Officers with the North Haven Police Department were present when the assault occurred, WVIT reported.
The incident took place on Dec. 31, 2017, after 38-year-old Vincent Terrone allegedly sent threatening text messages to his own girlfriend, who is the sister-in-law of Hamden Police Sergeant Michael Cirillo.
Terrone’s unnamed girlfriend told North Haven officers that she and Terrone had gotten into an argument, and that Terrone sent her text messages that said “he would kill her parents and sisters,” (Sgt. Cirillo’s Wife) the New Haven Register reported.
Terrone and his girlfriend had recently leased an apartment together in North Haven, so officers in that jurisdiction responded to their residence to speak with Terrone.
When Sgt. Cirillo learned that the neighboring department had located Terrone, the uniformed officer decided to leave his jurisdiction and traveled over to speak with Terrone himself.
When he arrived on scene, Sgt. Cirillo entered the basement of the home, walked past North Haven officers, and began to yell at Terrone, WTNH reported.
He then grabbed Terrone by the shirt, shoved him onto the ground, and put him in a headlock, North Haven officers said.
Sgt. Cirillo yelled at Terrone about threatening to kill his wife.
The North Haven officers pulled Sgt. Cirillo off of Terrone, removed him from the room, disarmed him, and secured Sgt. Cirillo’s duty weapon in a police vehicle, WFSB reported.
Sgt. Cirillo was cooperative, police said.
Following the altercation, Terrone complained of lower back pain and was taken for medical evaluation.
Sgt. Cirillo was charged with third-degree assault, and was released with a promise to appear, WVIT reported.
Back at his own station, Sgt. Cirillo was immediately placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation, the New Haven Register reported.
“I was immediately made aware of the arrest of Sergeant Michael Cirillo on December 31, 2017 by the North Haven Police Department,” Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra told WTNH. “Based on the circumstances involved in the incident as I understand them, Sergeant Cirillo was promptly placed on modified duty and relived of all police powers and authority, pending the outcome of an internal investigation which was initiated forthwith.”
“I don’t want to prejudge facts and circumstances,” Chief Wydra said, according to the New Haven Register. “I know what the optics are. The optics are bad.”
According to the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch website, Terrone is scheduled to appear before the court in five separate cause numbers on Jan. 10.
There were no pending charges listed for the threatening text messages.
Among his pending cases are two counts of risk of injury to a child, two counts of violation of a protective order, and two counts of criminal violation of a restraining order – all of which are felonies.
According to a Jan. 2 follow-up report in North Haven, Terrone ultimately requested to withdraw all charges against Cirillo, who was scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 11, the New Haven Register reported.
Sgt. Cirillo will be arraigned Jan. 11.
Neither North Haven Police Department or Hamden Police Department responded to a request for comment from Blue Lives Matter as of the time of publication.
WTNH obtained the bodycam video which can be seen below: